Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summer ReCap

Three months. It’s been three months since I’ve written anything in my L&D series. At two months I was beating myself up pretty good. Now I’ve let it slip to three months. My goodness, where did it go? How did I let this happen?


This month, I’m done beating myself up. I just need to get in gear and start writing again. Damn it.



But, in all fairness to myself, I've had a very busy and eventful summer. As some of you know I’m in a summer oriented business. So the real job does suck a lot of time out of me. Before Miss M came, I used to pull 60 plus hours a week. Now I can’t do that anymore, but some weeks during summer, it’s not too far off that mark. And we’re still battling the alphabet agency. They’ve changed a few things, we’ve backed off of a few points, but then they will turn around and do some else to make you cringe. It’ll be an ongoing battle with no clear end in sight.


My sister came out for a long visit. She got to come out with her youngest son, who is only 30 days younger than Miss M. My sister and I had a great time. The kids annoyed each other for most of their three weeks together. But declared how much they missed the other when my sis and her son went home. Go figure.


Oh, I also had a wreck. Not a minor one, a ‘my truck has been in the shop for two months now’ kind of wreck. I have a really good, strong SUV and man, I’m sold on it. I don’t think I’ll ever have another kind of vehicle, as long as I can afford it. Considering the damage done to my truck, no one was seriously injured. It was amazing to look at it and realize how lucky we were. The kids were in the back seat, they came out scared but unscathed. My sister was hit in the ear with the airbag and I was hit in the face. Her hearing came back in full within a week. The inside of my forearm was over half covered with chemical burns from the airbag. And about a week later, once the swelling went down I discovered I had a very minor, albeit annoying, concussion. I kept feeling out of sync. I’d do something at work and about fifteen minutes later, think, “Ah, shit, did I do that right?” And have to go back and check. Plus the headaches didn’t help either.


That was the major stuff that pulled me out of my writing routine. Not to mention that my other nephew and niece came out for two weeks right before Miss M started First Grade. So I’ve had a little bit going on. I think I’ll stop beating myself up, be glad for everyone being safe and just force myself back into the writing chair. And blogging chair.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just call me MacGyver

I had another post that I planned on. Even wrote about half of it. But then something more interesting came along. My office was without power for 48 hours. Most would think, great, two days off. Not really. In fact, the power went out Wednesday night and payroll is done on Thursday by yours truly. Sure I can hand write a check, but for 50 employees, who wants to do that? Plus you have to make sure that you have all the correct withholding info and guess where all of that is stored? On my server. Yes, I have a battery back up surge protector, but it doesn't last two days.



So I had to take an old back-up copy of my accounting program, reinstall it on my laptop. Wait the two hours while it updated the tax info on the internet before I could even do payroll. Do you know how that wears down a battery? Lucky for me, I have an inverter. Out of over 40 men working with me in this semi construction business, I'm the only one that has an inverter. (BTW, an inverter is an outlet that plugs into your cigarette lighter. I had to explain that to some of said guys.) Maybe I was a boy scout in a past life? Or maybe I've experienced so many things going wrong that I try to always be prepared. (My sister voted on the later. She doesn't think I was ever able to play nice enough to be a boy scout. She's probably right.)



Once I had everything updated on the laptop I had to install the printer driver on my computer. By this time my laptop started losing power. I had it unplugged for awhile so I could get some other work done in my flashlight lit office. So then it was a matter of plugging in my computer and then switching the power to my printer in time to print checks and back and forth for the other batch of checks (there are three different groups that get paid separately). All in the back seat of my truck in the 100 degree weather. Fun huh? But everyone got paid and was happy. Then they gave me the nickname MacGyver. I kind of like it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Black hole

I’m starting to crawl out of my black hole. Allergies have been beyond my patience. I had scheduled for new tests last month, since I haven’t done any testing since I was a teenager it sounded like a good idea. But I was forced to cancel. You can’t be on most of my allergy meds a week before the testing, and if I skip just one dose, I relapse. Damn rainy spring weather. When is it ever going to be hot again?!


I have been sick on my Birthday, Mother’s Day, DH's birthday and every other weekend in between. I’ve put off cleaning my house, laundry and even a trip out of town because I’m just too miserable and need to feel better. Okay, to be honest, it doesn’t take much for me to put of cleaning and laundry, but the trips, now that is a clear indication that I don’t feel well.


Hot weather is supposed to be coming this weekend, so I can see a light. I hope that light burns all the damn pollen and mold in the air.


I had a funeral to go to this past weekend, so I had to force myself well to make the trip. LOTS of mixed feelings go along with this funeral. I’ll try to do another post on the complicated position I found myself in this weekend.


Writing has suffered, couldn’t keep up the writing everyday pace. But I did get a tiny bit done while I was out of town and that helped me immensely. Just for my own head, it felt good to being doing something that was totally for me while I was there. Miss M is out of school now and starting summer camp (day camp, no sleep overs) next week. I plan to get back on track by then.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Personal Protection

Run to go get Leah's new book. Personal Protection. It's so hot and right now its #2 on MBaM. Let's push her to hit #1.


C'mon, you know you want to read it...


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Guns





I’m writing away in Kathleen’s story. Kathleen is a prim and proper girl and is being introduced to the seedier sides of life. One of the things her new partners insist on is her getting a license to carry a gun. So I know this, I planned on this, have major stuff happening in this scene but I forgot one important thing. I’ve never shot a handgun. I’ve never been to a shooting range. I shot a rifle a few times out in the desert when I was much younger. But that is not the same. So I quick called a friend and she took me last Friday afternoon to the range not far from my house. I’ve been there a couple of times, looking and asking questions in the store. I already know the type of guns Sam uses, but I need to learn how the whole process works so I can make Kathleen’s story that much more believable.




I had an awesome time. I did really well, shot a couple of different guns. Even did well on my targets. I learned a lot and had a great time. My friend was impressed that I wasn't intimidated by the whole thing. In fact, she kept exclaiming, "You're not scared at all. That's great." My reply, "Yeah, NOT being scared was usually my problem." You see, I've always dived head first into anything I wanted to do. Much to the dismay of all those around me. I met my future husband and just a few short months later I moved half way across the country to a city I didn't know, no friends or family near by and started a business venture with my now husband. It took us seven years to actually get married. (Boy, what a conflict that caused my family. :) Oh, and did I tell you I was only 18? Yeah, I think I'm a big NO FEAR advocate.




Now if I could get the No Fear going for my writing.

A moment of panic


I’m feeling a whole lot over my head. I’ve kept up my daily writing, although it hasn’t been solely to L&D1. I got stuck, more on that in another post. But since I need to wait just a couple of days for me to get unstuck, I turned to Sam’s story. She has a prologue or short story that happens in Kathleen’s timeline. It doesn’t fit and is completely unnecessary for the Kathleen’s story (L&D1) but it is a must for Sam’s (L&D3). Plus it’s really HOT. It turns out to be a central piece setting up the internal conflict for Sam’s story. And I just figured out the plot of the external conflict, I have to admit, I’m impressed with myself. Didn’t see it coming but I love it. It’s more interesting and stronger than I originally planned.



Many of my writer friends have said that if you get into the ‘groove’, ‘zone’, or whatever name you give it, then your creativity will start to overflow. I believed it, but never really experienced it. I let too many real life/ job things get in the way of writing. And while the real life/ jobs thing still have to come first, I am making writing a priority too. Then I had that overflow they talk about. I had the spark of an idea for another series. Four sisters, four witches, four books. Can you believe that? Plus it’s something completely different, for me anyway. I know the sister/ witch thing is feeling a bit overdone. And it may be, but it’s being done because people like it. Something about magic and witches resonate with people and I don’t think they ever get tired of reading stories done in a fresh way. Now let’s hope I can get the fresh part done.

In the craft of writing, I know what needs to be done, the layering, the 3 or 4 drafts, laying the clues, showing vs. telling, emotions, etc. But when I think too hard on if I’m doing all these varied things right I get overwhelmed. Fear sets in. Doubt is its close partner. Not good. I know I listened to them before. I have the privilege of being a beta reader/ crit partner to some very talented writers. And it’s easy for me to think that while I may be creative, I doubt my stamina and ability to complete the novels they have. However, these habits that I’ve been forcing myself to do have helped curb fear and doubt. Let's see if I can maintain it.

How do you keep fear and doubt at bay?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Anita Blake

I’ve stuck to my writing EVERY SINGLE DAY credo and the daily numbers are starting to getting consistently higher. In fact, last night I really just wanted to go to bed. I was tired, it was late, Miss M went down an hour later than normal, and my allergies haven’t gone away completely yet. I really tried to talk myself into going to bed and doing more today. But I’ve got more crazy stuff to do today. So I ‘put my butt in the chair’ (as Candace Havens always says) and just tried to type some words that contributed to my story. Guess what happened? I wrote nearly 1,000 words. AND I think I put way more emotional insight into my main character. Happy dance and rum for everyone!

So Leah blogged about me again. :) I sent her my Anita Blake books to see if she liked them. I did, in fact I devoured the whole series in three months in between all of my other reading. Leah didn’t like them nearly as much as I did. There wasn’t enough emotion in it for her. I understand and I do like the emotionally powerful stories that she talked about. But it also made me think about why I liked Anita Blake so much. Anita is a truly flawed character, but she knows it. She knows she has all this anger and rage and she lets her mouth get herself into trouble. But she can and does come off as a bitch to many. So why do I like her so much? I think I relate too much. Plus with her saying things like she runs 4 miles every day, not because she likes it, but because sometimes you just have to be able to out run the bad guys, it’s hard for me to NOT like her.



Oh, and you need to buy Leah’s new book. It’s coming out on the 12th. HOT, think Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. OMG, you can’t believe how hot this book is. A little tidbit for you, I read a couple of scenes from the next book in the series this week. Umm, let me just say that I wanted to pull DH into my office and lock the door. He wouldn’t cooperate though, damn!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dreams

Writing update – I’ve have written every day since I met my goal of starting to write before Easter. That’s more than ten days. YEAH me. On average I’ve written about 600 words a day. True, not a great amount but the range has been from 90 words one day to 1662 on another day. I’ve only had two days were I wrote 90 and 106 words, but I was going to a funeral and such so you have to give me that. I think the important thing is to get in that habit of writing every single day. I have an excel file keeping track of my daily log. I'll let you know how it's going as time wears on. I expect that my output will start to come easier the longer I'm doing it every single day.


Fun Stuff – Check out Leah’s blog. I inspired it! It’s all about having dreams (the kind while you’re asleep) that actually come true. So does that ever happen to you?


Weird Stuff – Okay, so I try to do the good mom thing and let Miss M experience different stuff. We do piano lessons, and we went through horse lessons, Tae Kwon Do, and more recently dance. Piano is going to stick, but then we’ll sign up for something new for three months and see what we like. Miss M loves the ‘idea’ of doing all these things but when she realizes the work involved gets bored really fast.





I have to tell you though that dance is going to be OUT. The conversations that go on among the dance mothers, OMG, I can’t possibly even describe it properly. All I know is that I need a drink afterwards. Don’t believe me? Think I exaggerate? DH does, then the babysitter came one day when I had to be somewhere and she tagged off and took Miss M home for me. Her opinion? “OMG, I thought women like that only existed in movies and books. They are so WEIRD!” via her text messages to me, after only being there for 15 minutes. Yes 15 minutes. I think we may go back to horses, they talk less.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Updates

Miss M

Last Sunday I finished her tent curtains. She loves them. She loves taking them down and hanging them on ANYTHING too. Oh, well. She’s having fun. Still have a massive pile of toys in the living room but I don’t have the energy. Finally got the last book shelf in, just need to put it together. Not sure when, which leads me to…










Health
Do you know I have allergies? Even my allergist says that I’m a freak, in the nicest possible way. I have your common garden variety allergies to pollen, ragweed, anything that grows, etc. However, the way MY body reacts is where the freakishness comes in. You know that Epi pen shot that people who are allergic to bee stings use? Well, it has a disclaimer, once you use it call 911. Not me, it’s just everyday average medicine. I use is sparingly, because I don’t really like jamming my thigh with it. I guess I use it about once or twice a year. When I was 7 I was taught how to use a syringe so I could inject myself in the arm if need be. I wish I could do that still, but with the drug problems today I’m sure I would get all kinds of weird looks if I try to pick up ephedrine and syringes. A small stab in the arm is way better than a jam to the thigh though, less bruising too.

Anyways, my allergies have been in high form. The pollen count is off the charts right now with high winds at least every other day. Miss M and I are both going to the allergist tomorrow.

Writing

I met my goal!!! I started writing L&D1 a whole day before my deadline. I’m very excited. So far I have about 1600 words, which doesn’t sound like much and it really isn’t. BUT with my head all fuzzy from allergies I’m amazed I actually crawled out of bed the last two days. I’ve finished the first scene. It’s still really rough and I know I will end up rewriting at least two more times, but that is for later. Now is the time for me to push through with this first draft and get the whole story written. The Zokutou Word Meter link is gone, so as soon as I can find a better one I will start posting my progress.

Monday, March 30, 2009

More Progress

Room Update – Almost done! Yeah! Ordered some bookcases for organization and there was a mixup on one of them. It should be in this week and hopefully this weekend I will get all the toys back in. I came up with a clever way (ingenious was the word I originally picked but I want to appear modest)to hang Miss M’s tent flaps. Extra long shower curtain rod. Found some really cute hooks and then all I have to do is put some grommets in, assuming that would be easier to figure out than my button hole maker on my sewing machine. I’m hoping to have the tent curtains done by this weekend too. We’ll see.



Writing – I finished the plotting class. I have to be honest, I really already had L&D1 plotted out to the point where I didn’t need the class. But it did help me adjust my thinking for future works. All in all, it was a worthwhile class to take and I recommend it to anyone doubting their plotting abilities.


So now that I’ve finished the class I’m fine tuning my outline for L&D1. I’m giving myself two weeks for last minute detail stuff and I’m going to try and start writing in earnest by Easter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Room Progress

The room is coming along great. Finished all the painting. YEAH!!! Man, I’m tired of paint. There are a few spots on the ceiling I need to cover up but I have to be honest, I’m not all that ambitious to get it fixed. Had the carpets cleaned Wednesday, and the bed delivered Thursday. Miss M is in heaven. I can’t get her off the bed.


We still have the HUGE pile of toys in the living room but hopefully we can get through half of those this weekend. I ordered some bookcases to help organize her toys, but I waited too late and they won’t be in until next week. So by next weekend I hope to have it finished. Maybe that will be my birthday present to hubby, “Look honey, I cleaned the living room”.

My mother in law is here this week and I haven’t been able to get much accomplished on L&D1. I’m going to try and work on my plotting class tonight but we’ll see. I have like 2,000 emails in my boxes from all the different groups I’m in and classes I’ve taken over the past few months. A couple of classes I took I just filed away to read later. I’d like to get through at least two of those by the middle of next month. Again, we’ll see.

Anyone reading anything interesting? I picked up the new Lora Leigh but I’m not letting myself read it until I get some of this stuff done. A reward for my hard work. I know someone else that does that, do any of you?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Romance Personality

Writing update – I’ve worked through more of my outline. I’m about two thirds to a little more through it and very happy. Most of the ending is already worked out with a couple of small questions that will have to wait until the end.

Right now, the only thing that really needs tweaking is the romantic element. I realized this week that most of the romances that I’ve read lately have been where the hero and heroine are sequestered in some way. You know, where they are on the run, undercover together, Personal Protection, (wink, wink to Leah) etc. In my story, they are dating. And boy, do I NOT know anything about that. I’ve been with DH for nearly 18 years now and even before then I was an anomaly when it came to the whole dating scene. Let’s just say that my attitude was way more like a guy’s. If I liked someone, I asked them out. I didn’t wait, I didn’t ask to be pursued, I saw what I wanted and went after it. My single friends don’t even bother anymore asking me for advice on men. I’m way too aggressive and direct for them. I don’t get the games. Don’t believe me? When DH and I went out for the first time, he refused to take me. I badgered him for 20 minutes until he relented and agreed to take me out. The only reason he put up such a fight was because I was fresh out of high school and he was 8 years older than me. Not such a big deal now, but back then it was. As it would be for Miss M to show up with a boyfriend 8 years older than her! Hypocritical, yeah probably, but I don’t care!

Miss M’s room – It’s all primed and ready for pink paint. We discussed, compared, argued and drew pictures to come up with ‘our plan’. Miss M is so like me it’s a bit frightening. We argue constantly, it’s all about control. Anyway, we decided to paint the walls pink and then we picked out purple paint to sponge on top of that. So she’ll get a multi colored effect. The colors are rich but not too dark or too pastel so it was a good compromise for us both. I sure as hell hope it looks as good as we imagined. Dad will be mad at both of us if we hate it so much we start over. I’m not sure why though, he hasn’t done any painting. I promised Miss M that she could help paint the walls pink so that will be this afternoon or tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes…

Friday, March 6, 2009

Creativity

While I’m still working away to finish out the plotting on L&D 1 I’ve come up with another project, Miss M’s room. When we moved into the house we are in now she had just turned 4 and still very wrapped up in the Disney stuff. So we painted a huge Ariel mural on the wall for her.



She was very nervous about the whole giving up her old house and this was something for her to be excited about, plus her new room was about half the size as her old one. Now don’t get upset, when she is in the neighborhood of 10-12 she’ll move into one of the two rooms upstairs and you can’t believe how big they are. Some apartments I’ve lived in were smaller.

She’s 6 ½ now and for about a year she has grown tired of the Ariel theme. Still loves the character, but doesn’t really want to live with her anymore. Daddy is not too pleased, but then they argue weekly about the fact that she has to quit growing. Her response comes very dry, “But Daddy, that’s my job. I’m supposed to get bigger.” There is almost the undertone of, “Deal with it Dad” included.

So this week I’ve been scouring the internet for ideas on bigger girl, not tween, rooms. Last night we bought a bunk/ loft bed.


The bed is up top and the bottom is open. You could put another bed there, but we aren’t. We are going to use the space for the insane amount of toys this one child has. Hopefully we’ll be able to sort through and donate some of them. This should double the play area space. We bought some fabric last night and I’m going to make tent flaps to hang down so she’ll have her own little cave under the bed.

So what does all this prove? Other than I’m crazy to take a project like this one, oh did I mention I gave myself only two weeks to get the toys sorted, walls primed and painted before the bed arrives? And on top of all the other crazy things I have to do every night, plus my real job. Plus, while we're at it, I'll have to redo the bathroom downstairs too. It's all in the Ariel theme as well. Maybe it’s one of those things that you put in front of yourself so you never finish another project. I admit I’m very bad about doing that. But I don’t think so this time. See this morning in the shower I was thinking about L&D1 and decided that part of my problem was in Kathleen’s love interest. While he was cute, he just wasn’t doing it for me. Came up with another actor and WHAM, got a whole lot more to work with and I can see it playing so much better now. Maybe I just needed another outlet for my creativity to get the rest of the wheels going.

Have any of you had similar experience when stuck on a plot?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pushing Through

Well, this week has been a mix of interesting and boring. Miss M is involved in quite a few afterschool activities and over half of them were not done this week. From one instructor being sick, to Daddy coming home early and Miss M not wanting to go to her lesson and the other just not meeting that day for whatever reason. It was nice and the weather here has been beautiful. But it felt odd not having to run around at breakneck speed.

Real job has had some interesting characters this week. My attorney swears I should write a book about some of our weird customers. I don’t think anyone would believe me though. :)

On the writing front – I’m starting to get antsy for the actual writing. I’m working my way through the holes and finding questions I need answered to make everything believable. I think I’ve worked through the first half of the scenes and have a good handle on them. Now I need to get the answers and then plow through the other half. That is where the majority of the holes were though. It may take me a little longer. I’ll see how much I can get done by next week.

How is your writing going? I’m so jealous of Leah right now. She is going away for a WHOLE weekend to write with some writer friends of hers. If you had a completely free weekend where would you go and what would you do? Me – probably travel abroad and call it research.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Laying it all Out

I’m a couple of days late on my target for a new post. I’m TRYING to do one every week. So far in February I have, let’s see if I can keep it up!

L&D Update - After much haggling in my head I still hadn’t been able to work out the plot points and holes I knew I had. So at work I laid everything out on the large table we use for the next day’s work schedule. I went over all of it, amazed at how much that clarified my thinking. I found the holes and made notes on what to fill them with and re arranged about half a dozen scenes to make it flow better.

I am SO much happier with it now. I need to upload my changes on the computer, reprint and look at it again, trying to add more notes on what I want to happen in the scene, setting, POV, etc.

On my rant last week - Still mad, BUT we have a meeting in the morning with said alphabet company and hopefully we can find a solution we are all happy with. I’ll let you know next week how it works out. I’ve been in a mad rush the last two days printing to show them the facts to support our claims. I believe at least 2 trees may have supported my cause in the paper that I used.

Do you use Windows programs or Macs? I’m strictly a Windows girl, work doesn’t lend itself to the Mac world, or at least it didn’t ten years ago. Now I have so much invested in custom programming and computers, servers and the like I couldn’t switch over now if I really wanted to. But Leah was showing me a program that she uses for writing that I would LOVE to have. Scrivener. It looks amazing and fun to play with. Apparently you can pull images, web pages, quotes, random writing, whatever in the research section to keep you organized better. And don’t get me started on the corkboard section. Looks like lots of fun. Oh, and I think Marley is blogging about it today too. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bit of a Rant

Well, after my last post I expected this week to report I happily worked on my outline and worked some of my kinks out. Did that happen? Nope. Not an inkling, a bit or a smidge. Damn. I really, really wanted to work on it. But the cards just weren’t going to help me with that last week.

So what happened? I can’t give you all the details (have to protect the not so innocent you know), but here’s a few tidbits. Family that I no longer have contact with for nearly ten, yes TEN, years called up out of the blue. Lots of drama, death, sickness and just plain weirdness going on there. None of them know Miss M so that was a topic of discussion and point to try to extract guilt from. Notice I said try. Then one of my closest friends had her heart broken. I feel horrible for her and I just hope I can help her through this. Then one of hubby’s relatives that had been estranged for quite some time called out of the blue as well. What the hell was in the stars, cards, fates, etc to have all of that happen within three days?!?!? So needless to say it was an emotionally taxing week.

Then on the real job front, I’m telling you, you won’t believe some of the stories I’ve got. The B alphabet group has gotten our dander up. You know who I’m talking about, those people that are supposed to protect consumers by monitoring companies and their practices. Anyways, the latest is their new grading system. We have had 19 complaints in the last three years for serving over 24,000 customers. That is 0.00079%, and that doesn’t include all the people we go out to, or the people we talk to over the phone. AND of those 19 complaints, not one, I repeat NOT ONE was found to be our fault. Every one of the complaints were either bogus or we had already taken care of the problem BEFORE we were even aware that the customer had complained.

One complaint was a customer where we did break something, customer got mad made a complaint online the same day. The file comes back to our office that night, we discover what happened, called the customer the next day, tell him we are aware of the problem we will have it fixed as soon as possible, happened to be done in three days (we had to hire it out to be done – not something we could have fixed ourselves), customer happy, paid for their order, no problems. Week later we get the complaint by mail that the customer filed online.

Still counts against us. Guess what grade B alphabet group gives us? C+, less than a 1% complaint ratio, all complaints found in our favor, and we get a C+. Oh, and in protest of this unfair rating system we withdrew our membership, (yes, they have membership with dues and everything) they lowered it again. So that is our current real job battle. Can you believe it? We’ve talked back and forth to no avail, so unfortunately now we have to hire our attorney to try and reason with them. Wonder how much that is going to cost me in the long run? People are always under the impression that they help consumers and are a government sponsored agency. Nope, not in the least. They sell advertising and memberships. They can help consumers and I know they have some effect on businesses when customers threaten to go to them for satisfaction. But how does it help a customer make an informed decision with a faulty rating system?

Oh, and did I tell you that if you service 500 people or 20,000 people they judge you the same. Not the percentages, just the lump sum quantities. How can a business that handles 500 customers be judged the same way a business that handles 20,000? So under this theory, if we only serviced 500 people and had 19 complaints that would give us the same rating. I'm sorry but if we take care of 4,000% more customers I think they should take that into consideration and grade accordingly. ESPECIALLY, since none of the complaints have found us at fault. What do you think?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Outline for LD1

Well, three posts in January. Not bad. Maybe I’m finally getting this technology thing down. I’ve come to realize that if the tech stuff isn’t for work I really don’t bother learning about it. I finally got an iPhone late last year and the only reason I learned to cool ins and outs of it was because I could sync it with my work computer. And I don’t mean work as in writing, no work as in real job. Sad, but true. I can barely work my camcorder. I have no need for one at work. Ug.

I’ve been working on my outline for LD1, my abbreviation for it. I have the characters pretty fleshed out. Kathleen is the lawyer, Cassie the cop, and Sam the PI. And I have to tell you that Sam is threatening to take over the WHOLE thing. So to appease her, I’m going to write a short story that I originally intended to be the prologue to LD3 (Sam’s Story – sorry Leah, but it works in identifying) :-) but I think it will be too big for a prologue. We’ll see. She has become much more colorful and interesting than what I perceived her initially. I don’t think we’ll ever get to see all of her back story, which is a shame, because it’s a story in itself.

Yesterday I went through my outline and separated the scenes so that they each have their own page and marked where the scene takes place and whose POV each scene is in. This also showed that I have 33 scenes, not bad. I really like how these details are getting worked out early. Before, I would just write and figure it out as I went along. Obviously, that wasn’t working for me, so I’m hopeful that this way does. I found some holes in the story. I’m trying to encompass four story threads and weave them all together. I have found that my love aspect isn’t getting enough attention so that is something I have to address and Cassie isn’t featured enough so I need to get her in it more. Plus show my bad guys in depth and plant the red herrings correctly. And try to keep Sam from stealing the show.

Did you see Leah’s book on sale? It made the #1 slot on Samhain’s best seller this week. Go get it! It’s hot!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Private Property

Come check out my wonderfully talented friend’s new Release.

It is HOT! Leah is an amazing writer and this is her first book to be published. She already has a contract on the second and is working on the third installment of this series. And it’s on sale today. Who can beat that?!




Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lies & Deception

So a lawyer, a cop, and a PI walk into a bar...

No, it's not some sleazy joke. It's the premise of my new story. I think it's turning into a series. I've got quite a bit of material and I can see more happening to them. Can you see the potential for crazy things to happen with these three personality types?

Right now I'm in the outline and research phase and having lots of fun with it. I have a lot of research for Kate's story that actually works better for this one at the moment. So the story is going to be these three women starting their own PI firm together. In the begining, two of them DO NOT get along so that is going to be fun to write about. Especially since one of them relishes in annoying the other. But really, she needs to lighten up!

Here's the tidbit:

Lies & Deception Inc.

Three no non sense, strong women come together to form their own Investigation and Specialized Protection Agency. They deal with the average, everyday cheating spouse, insurance scammers, frivolous law suit filers, as well as stalkers. And if you’re in a real jam, they can actually help you disappear.

The Diplomat – A former lawyer sick of the bureaucratic red tape decides she can use the system to help the innocents and actually protect victims instead of the criminals. Excellent at diplomacy, she can twist everything you say and make you admit to being wrong and apologize for it.

The Defiant – A former cop that couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Loved by all her coworkers, but despised by her bosses. She became uncontrollable and frustrated with the politics of the office. Pushed off the force may keep her out of a uniform, but it won’t keep her off the streets. She remains close to her siblings in blue and helps out when she can, but working on her own she now isn’t tied to all the rules. Can talk crap with the best of them and tends to be so blunt she incites hatred from others.

The Deceiver – With questionable backgrounds no one really knows where she came from. Has a quick mind and fast study. Got her start actually working for another agency but became bored with trying to help the bad guys when her mentor was bought out. Has the looks of someone sweet and na├»ve, but she’s the one to do the dirty work. Knows how the criminals think far too well. Has a terrible rage hidden from the world that manages to escape when she starts drinking vodka. She’s the expert on disappearing and undercover.

Diplomacy, Defiance, and Deception

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year, New Story

Well I’m back into the regular grove of things again. Miss M is back in school, thank goodness. I really treasure our time together, but a girl has got to get some work done once in awhile and taking Miss M to my office wasn’t cutting it. I’m very lucky that my real job is very slow in the winter so for her holiday I get to spend lots of time with her. We caught up on movies, went to the ballet (Nutcraker), and the museum. Plus slept in every morning! By nature I’m a night owl and very disinclined to wake on my own before the sun comes up, which is when I need to get out of bed during school. So on our little hiatus I got to stay up until 3 in the morning and wasn’t brain dead the next morning for only getting 3 hours of sleep. Yeah me!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We had family come in and they promptly spread the flu in our household. Out of seven of us, only Miss M escaped the epidemic. Unfortunately her allergies morphed into a nasty cold and asthma so while she didn’t have the upset stomach, we are now on a couple of inhalers for the next few weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I was checking out Angela Knight’s blog and she recommended a writing book by Karen Wiesner that sounded interesting. I put it on my Christmas list for hubby, which he didn’t get (he HATES trying to buy books for me) but he did give me a nice big gift card to B&N. So I promptly went and purchased this book. I’m about a third of the way through it and so far I’m really liking it. For me, it’s making me focus working out all my plot lines and making sure they mesh before I even write Chapter One on a page.

I’ve done Candace Haven’s Fast Draft Course and that was great. But I just had an idea in my head and ran with it. I always seem to get stuck in the middle trying to figure out how to make it work with the ending in my head. Karen Wiesner’s book forces you to focus on the middle and lay it all out in a very detailed outline. She says by the end of the outlining you really have a first draft. And I can see where she says that, you detail the outline so far that all you really need to do is just go in and write the actual scenes. You’ve already put in what is supposed to happen in it. Her method has worked all the details out that have plagued me during my previous attempts. So I took a story idea and I'm running with the new system. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

What system seems to work the best for you?